Supergirl continues to have their episode titles be right on the nose. There was certainly a lot of change to go around in this week’s “Changing”.
Having an episode focus on climate change feels incredibly relevant right now, especially considering the current political situation in the United States. Dr. Jones’s fervent belief that dealing with climate change was more important than anything may have been a little overzealous, but with opponents like O’Reilly doing their level best to convince everyone that things are fine, nothing to see here, is not helping. However, in the end, “Changing” was less about climate change and more about personal growth, with various characters dealing with changing circumstances.
Let’s start with James and his debut as Guardian, which I think was very well done. I appreciate that Winn was adamant that James was serious before giving him the suit, because he is taking a lot of risks without a lot of training. I can understand his desire to help, especially when he is surrounded by people like Kara and Clark and J’onn – people who are making a real difference in the world – but I cannot for the life of me figure out why he wants to keep something like this from Kara and the others. Perhaps he knows they will only try to talk him out of it, or forcibly ground him in some manner. Maybe he’s slightly bitter at being constantly shunted aside and simply wants to prove that he’s capable before he reveals his secret. Whatever the case, James has now joined the ranks of National City’s superheroes, and he does it with some serious style (and a little help from Winn).
Related, Mon-El stepped up in “Changing” after weeks of just kind of drifting. Mon-El had a very different upbringing than Kara, who grew up mostly on Earth, and Kara has been obviously projecting her beliefs and opinions onto him since the beginning. This is also sadly relevant considering the current political climate, and it’s something I sometimes fail at myself; people are different, with different views and different priorities, and it’s important to have discussions where you listen as well as talk. Kara sees something in Mon-El that he doesn’t see in himself, and when he fails to live up to the potential she thinks he has, she gets very disappointed and he gets upset. After Kara gets drained by Jones, Mon-El decides to try his hand at being a hero. It doesn’t work out so well for him as it does for James.
James and Mon-El have similar arcs in “Changing”, with both trying to become heroes. James is guided by a strong moral compass and a desire to do good, a wish to live up to his father’s legacy and keep his friends from harm. I’m still not entirely sure what motivates Mon-El, but I suspect his growing closeness with Kara is at least part of it. The kick in the pants from Alex probably didn’t hurt.
Speaking of Alex, it’s refreshing to see that her coming out storyline wasn’t completely abandoned after it was tactfully acknowledged in last week’s episode that she is into women. In fact, Supergirl doubled down on the subplot by having Alex awkwardly come out to Kara and make a move on Maggie in the same episode. Alex’s subplot is one of the realest storylines I’ve seen on a CW show ever. I can’t think of anything more relatable than what Alex is going through right now. Not only is she struggling to deal with self identity, but also she is realizing that she has felt this way a long time and was suppressing it because she was scared. On top of that, she put her heart on the line only to have it broken. Chyler Leigh really nailed everything in this episode, but especially that last scene where Alex broke down.
I still enjoy the relationship between Alex and Maggie, and I hope that this isn’t the end of Sanvers and that Maggie sticks around, but really it was Alex and Kara who won the day this week. From Alex’s clumsy coming out to Kara’s quiet “I’m proud of you,” the Danvers sisters were amazing in “Changing”. I was also moved by Kara’s apology for monopolizing Alex’s life to the point where there wasn’t any time for her. So far, I’m pleased with how the CW is dealing with Alex’s sexuality, and it is probably the most important story arc that Supergirl will have all season. It isn’t just showing Alex coming out to supportive friends and family, it’s posing questions that many who struggle with their sexuality ask themselves and normalizing it. When Alex suggests that it’s all “just a phase”, Maggie firmly tells her that it’s real and that she’s allowed to be happy and have a life. That’s something that I think a lot of people need to hear. You matter. You are loved, and you deserve to be loved.
- I’m about 90% sure that the show is moving towards a Kara/Mon-El pairing. I’m almost excited to see what happens next week when the gang hopefully realizes that Cadmus has taken Mon-El.
- While I really enjoyed the idea of James kicking ass while Winn helps from the Scooby van, I do hope that eventually Guardian is able to handle these situations on his own.
- Was it just me, or did J’onn look a little bit different after his transfusion from M’gann? A little, dare I say, paler?
What did you all think of “Changing”? What do you think Cadmus wants with Mon-El? Did you also wonder if lead was really the best material for Guardian’s super suit?
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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